Throwback Thursday is not a new term, but I’ll be using it for new reason.
Each Thursday I’ll be posting a song that’s made an impact on my life and sharing the reasons why. It mightn’t necessarily be the greatest song in the world, but it was has a story that resonates with me. It may have opened me up to more influences, twisted my arm, hit me right in the feels, or remind me of a friend. I hope you can take something out of the stories I share, be they long or short.
FIRST ONE (in no particular order)
Muse – Cave
There are, strangely, a few rock solid memories connected to the old toilet roll holder in my parents’ loo. It was a radio, and I remember hearing some landmark content on that odd white plastic battery powered wall hanging. One was the news that Wayne Carey had left the Kangaroos after cutting his vice-captain’s grass. Another was this song.
I’m not one to spend longer than I need to in that room, but I did when I first heard Cave. Those straining, pleading vocals, the bass riff between verses, the chorus itself are special elements. What hooked me in particular was when after the second chorus, the song broke down in to a subtle piano riff. After 16 bars, that riff exploded in to coda of lava and fire. I honestly imagined a volcano erupting. The notes from those 16 delicate bars were repeated, but with drums, all guitars, and a shredding solo over the top that shunted it to epic-ville.
“What the hell was that!?” It shook me. A memory that really sticks.
It was the first time I’d heard of Muse. Over the next few months I sourced what I could from Napster, slowly discovering more and more. From that debut album, Sunburn was a song I became more familiar with, as it won its way to #82 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 count for the year 2000. Through the singles released on their follow up Origin of Symmetry, it did take a while to firmly catch on, but by the time third single Bliss became an MTV staple, they were firmly clenched as one of my favourite all time bands.
In 2004 I saw this English band live three times. I was a manic fan. They take songs in to worlds of fantasy. They can find new levels for songs to rise to, even when you think Matt Bellamy’s falsetto vocals are already as high as they can go. The guitar will explode. The keyboard with 20+ effects blasts through like a spacecraft. Delicate and deadly trade blow for blows. Muse are dynamic. They’re proud to be flamboyant and wear the badge with honour.
I’m proud they’ve been able to take over the world to a certain extent, headlining stadiums across continents, though I do wish that somewhere around their peak, they were able to produce a pop song that resonated with a mainstream market. They had the potential to really take over the hearts & minds of everyone, not just the avid music fans who crave discovery. Knights of Cydonia later topped the Hottest 100 and a couple of songs get the odd play on Australian hit radio, but I want ARIA number ones! They’re compared to Queen. What Muse lack is a Crazy Little Thing Called Love or Another One Bites The Dust. Did they fail to, or choose not to? There’s something noble in both.
Origin of Symmetry is officially my second favourite album of all time. (I’m the judge and that makes it official). Even if not many aged over 50 could name a Muse song, I’m bloody glad I discovered them, even if it was in the least likely of places.